The Mormon Church -- which has made a deal to buy some 400,000 acres of land in Florida's lesser developed Panhandle region -- will soon become Florida's largest private landowner, the Inquisitr website reports today (November 9, 2013).
A statement released by St. Joe Company -- a Florida real estate firm -- explained that the property purchased by the LDS (Latter-Day Saints) Church is mostly timberland. The Mormon Church intends to maintain timber and agricultural uses of the land.
The sales agreement was signed by the church's company, AgReserves Inc. for $565 million and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. However, the deal is expected to be finalized, most likely in the first quarter of 2014.
The Mormon Church is already one of Florida's largest landowners, because it owns Deseret Ranches -- a 290,000-acre cattle and citrus operation that straddles three Central Florida counties. Deseret has the largest cow-calf range in the United States, with some 44,000 head of cattle.